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Phitsanulok

Getting there and away

Air

Phitsanulok Airport is located in the southeastern reaches of the city. Tuk tuks and taxis charge a flat 150 baht fee for the trip. The city is served by frequent daily flights from Nok Air, Thai Airways and Air Asia.

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Train

The train station is located in the heart of the city, in front of the traffic circle where Aka Thotsarot and Naresuan roads meet. This is a major stop on the Northern Line, with at least 10 trains per day stopping here on their ways between Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

To Bangkok, five night trains depart between 21:40 and 01:30; three more between 6:00 and 10:00; and two between 14:00 and 16:00. These will stop in Lopburi, Ayutthaya and several other places. Fares start at 69 baht for third class and top out over 500 baht for sleepers, with several options in between.

To Chiang Mai, trains depart at 07:30, 12:10, 19:20, 01:50 and 04:40. These will stop in Lamphun, Lampang and others. Fares run anywhere from 65 for third class to 410 for a sleeper.

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Bus

Phitsanulok's fairly large bus terminal is located to the east of town, off Highway 12. Expect to pay 50 baht for a motorbike taxi or around 60 baht for a tuk tuk from downtown. You can also get here by local bus (see below).

Buses run to Phitsanulok often from Bangkok's Morchit (Northern) terminal as well as Chiang Mai, Udon Thani, Loei and other destinations. From Phitsanulok, fares include:

Bangkok (Morchit): Several buses depart every hour from 07:30 to 01:30. VIP buses departs at 14:30, 22:00 and 23:30, and cost in the neighbourhood of 450 baht. The more frequent first class buses cost around 300 baht, while a handful of second-class options run as low as 215 baht. The trip takes around six hours if your bus doesn't make a ton of stops.

Bangkok (Victory Monument): Minibuses depart from an office down the side street to the left, with your back to the bus station. They run roughly every hour from 6:00 to 18:00 and are faster but more cramped than the regular buses. An advantage is that they drop off near the Victory Monument BTS skytrain station.

Sukhothai: Regular buses depart hourly from 07:00 to 18:00, cost 43 baht, and take an hour. Minibuses also run hourly from the bus station between 05:20 and 18:00.

Si Satchanalai: Departs at 05:00, 06:45, 08:20 and 15:30, costs 90 baht, and takes around two hours.

Chiang Mai: Multiple buses depart every hour, 24 hours a day. VIP buses depart at 3:50, 4:50, 23:50, 0:50, 01:30 and 03:50, and cost around 350 baht. The many first-class buses cost around 230 baht, and the trip takes approximately five hours.

Chiang Rai: A mix of first- and second-class buses depart hourly from 08:00 to 10:30; again from 15:00 to 16:00; and again (with more options) from 19:50 to 02:30. Fares run from 267 to 345 baht, and the trip takes around 6.5 hours. Many of these buses also service Mae Sai.

Chiang Saen: One first-class bus departs at 11:30, costs 400 baht, and takes around 7.5 hours.

Nan: Departs at 07:30, 11:30, 14:30 and 17:30, costs 204 baht, and takes six hours.

Mae Sot: Departs at 08:00, 09:00, 12:00, 13:30 and 15:00, costs 157 baht, and takes 3.5 hours. These buses also service Tak.

Dan Sai: Local buses depart at 12:00, 14:30 and 17:30, cost 102 baht, and take around three hours. Many of the Loei / Udon Thani / Khon Kaen buses will also stop in Dan Sai.

Udon Thani: Depart at 9:30, 12:00, and 22:30, cost 306 baht, and take six hours. These buses also service Loei.

Transferring from train station to bus station
Tuk tuks can take you to the bus station for 60 baht, motorbike taxis for 50 baht, or city buses #1 and #8 pick up every 15 minutes in front of 7-eleven and Asia Hotel on Aka Thotsarot Road, and cost 10 baht per person. To reach the bus stop, head straight out of the train station then hang a left at the traffic circle and look for the 7-eleven on the immediate left.

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Getting Around

At time of writing, officials had implemented a brilliant idea (pun intended) to switch off virtually all traffic lights throughout the city, making walking a bit more treacherous than it needs to be. The move has resulted in major intersections becoming a twisted mash of vehicles battling to get through during rush hours -- do use caution.

This ill-conceived rebellion against traffic lights aside, most of Phitsanulok is suitable for walking. One place where it can be difficult is crossing Mittraphap Road to get from downtown and the riverfront promenade to Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat. To do this safely, make your way towards Topland Hotel, which can be seen from all over town, and use the raised footbridge that spans the highway.

If walking isn't your thing, P'lok offers several other ways to get around. Tuk tuks, samlors and motorbike taxis are always waiting in front of key places, like the train station and Topland. Expect to pay motorbike taxis and samlors no more than 50 baht for most trips within the city, a bit more for tuk tuks. You'll also find a few regular taxis waiting at the bus station. Unless going to the airport, which is a fixed 150 baht fare, the taxi metre starts at 50 baht.

Motorbikes can be rented for 200 baht at Anusorn Tour (T: 055 214 453), directly across from Topland Hotel on Aka Thotsarot Road; the sign says "Car Rental" and they also rent cars and vans, with or without drivers. You can also rent motorbikes at Lady Motor (look for a hand-written English sign), a small garage down a side street, just a smidge northwest of the bus station, on the way to Soi Thip Saena. Cars can also be rented from larger companies (Avis, Budget, Thai) at the airport.

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